Mentoring Moms Make Rolls of all Kinds – Here’s How

Our family has made it a tradition to make cinnamon rolls on Christmas Eve, refrigerate the shaped rolls overnight, and bake them in the morning.

Yesterday at Mentoring Moms (Older moms who are teaching younger moms homemaking skills once a month at our church) I showed the younger moms how we do cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, monkey bread, coffee rings, all kinds of shaped dough with a basic recipe.  My favorite, of course, is the cinnamon rolls with the sticky bun  or caramel topping.

I found out one family’s grand daughter named the cinnamon rolls – “donut  casserole” when she was two years old and the name stuck in their family.  So whether you make cinnamon rolls, monkey bread, a tea ring, or a donut casserole, ENJOY!

Fantastic Roll Dough

These wonderful rolls will be a hit for everyday or special occasions. Halve the recipe for a small batch. This dough is perfect for  two 9 x 13 pans of   cinnamon rolls or Monkey Bread, or one of each.  It will also make about 4 dozen dinner rolls.

2 1/2 Cups warm water
1/2 Cup honey
2 Tbsp yeast
1 egg
3-4 cups whole wheat flour

3-4 Cups Bread Flour
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
melted butter

Combine warm water, honey, powdered milk, and yeast in mixing bowl. Allow yeast to activate. Add egg and 3 Cups flour. Stir until thoroughly mixed; dough will resemble cake batter. Let rest until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Add salt, oil, and remaining flour or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Knead for 6-10 minutes or until gluten is developed or dough is soft and pliable. Pour out onto a lightly greased surface. Grease baking sheets. Pinch off 2-inch round portions, and roll out to an 8-inch rope. Tie rope in a single knot. Place in rows on baking sheets, cover, and let rise until double. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush with melted butter if desired, and remove to a cooling rack or serving tray.

Sticky Caramel Sauce Topping for Cinnamon Rolls or Monkey Bread

(To make half a recipe use the amounts in parantheses)

1 Cup butter (½)

2 Cups sugar (1 cup) or Sucanat

¼ Cup cinnamon (2 Tbsp)

½ cup butter (¼ cup)

1 cup brown sugar (½ cup) (Sucanat)

1 cup maple syrup (½ cup)

1 cup chopped nuts (1/2 cup) optional

Ed Note:  The butter is listed twice – one amount of butter is for the sticking topping, the other amount of butter is used for roll shaping – read the recipe carefully)

Melt 1 cup butter in bowl. Combine sugar and cinnamon for dipping rolls in another small bowl.

Make caramel sauce by melting additional butter amount, brown sugar (or Sucanat) and maple syrup in saucepan and divide between two 9 X 13 pans and sprinkle with nuts.

Monkey Bread Version (Kids will love helping with dough shaping)

When the dough is ready for shaping pinch off pieces about the size of an egg and roll into a 6-inch rope. Dip the “rope” into butter, then into the sugar and cinnamon and tie into a knot and place on top of the caramel sauce in the prepared 9 X 13 pan.  When the pan is full,  cover, place in refrigerator for at least two hours or until the next day, like Christmas morning.  Bake  at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. While warm, turn out the rolls onto a tray. Makes 15-16 rolls.

Cinnamon Roll Version

Roll half the dough out into a rectangle of about 12 X 18 inches.  Spread the second amount of butter on the dough rectangle close to the edge but not to the very edge.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the dough.  Roll up like a jelly roll.  Cut the rolls about 3/4″ with dental floss for a clean cut or use a knife, either way works.

Place the rolls on top of the caramel sauce already prepared in the 9 X 13 pan.  Cover tightly.  Allow to rise over night in the refrigerator or at least two hours before baking.  Baking at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.  Turn out onto a cooling rack or serving tray.  Very yummy and an inexpensive gift.

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7 comments to Mentoring Moms Make Rolls of all Kinds – Here’s How

  • Wendy

    I was reading the recipe and it says to combine the warm water, honey, powdered milk and yeast, but I can’t find the powdered milk in the list of ingredients. How much do you use?

  • Wendy

    Could I use 2.5 cups warm milk instead of water and powdered milk? Or would it be less milk and part water?

  • Do you use real maple syrup for this recipe or do you suggest maple pancake
    syrup? One is so much stronger in maple flavor that the other. Do you make adjustments in the amounts? I was also wondering about the amount of powdered milk to include.

  • Marilyn Moll

    Sorry I didn’t make this more clear. Powdered milk can be substituted for real milk or just use real milk. I took powdered milk out of the recipe (I thought) because a lot of people don’t like to use it. It just makes the dough a bit richer. Cream works as well as butter.

    Yes, I do use real maple syrup. Powdered milk is optional, 1/2 cup is the suggested amount.

  • Jesse P.

    Can I use sugar instead of honey? I don’t have any in the house right now.

  • Marilyn Moll

    Jesse, Of course you can always substitute sugar for honey. The advantages of honey is that it is like a natural preservative. I find bread made with sugar is stale in one day. But if the rolls get devoured overnight – who cares?


  • Tara

    If I wanted to use my bread machine, do I just use the “basic dough” setting?

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